Canopy Growth to close Saskatchewan pot plant

Ontario company stepping out of other international plays

A major indoor cannabis grow site at Yorkton, Sask. is the latest casualty as pot producer/retailer Canopy Growth adjusts its worldwide footprint.

Smiths Falls, Ont.-based Canopy Growth, whose cannabis brands include Tweed, Tokyo Smoke, Van der Pop and Spectrum Therapeutics, announced Thursday it will shut down its Tweed Grasslands production facility at Yorkton to “further align production in Canada with market conditions.”

The Yorkton site, a 90,000-square-foot former dairy plant, came to Canopy Growth as part of the Ontario company’s takeover of medical marijuana firm rTrees Producers Ltd. in 2017.

Canopy Growth said in 2017 it planned to expand the plant on the 11-acre Yorkton property to over 300,000 square feet and ultimately create between 40 and 50 new permanent jobs.

However, the Yorkton plant’s closure — and other moves announced Thursday — are expected to lead to “a headcount reduction of approximately 85 full-time positions,” the company said in a release.

Among those other moves, Canopy Growth said Thursday it will “cease its farming operations” at Springfield, N.Y., citing ” current market demand for hemp.”

It also said it will cease operations at its cultivation facility in Colombia and will shift to an “asset-light” model to maintain its Latin America production hub in that country, sourcing raw product from local suppliers and continuing formulation and encapsulation work through its previous agreement with Procaps, a pharma processor based in Barranquilla.

Canopy Growth said Thursday it has also now exited its operations in South Africa and Lesotho and is “transferring ownership” of all of its African operations.

Canopy CEO David Klein, in Thursday’s release, said the moves stem from a strategic review carried out “to optimize our cost structure and reduce our cash burn.”

The company announced last month it would close two B.C. greenhouses, at Aldergrove and Delta, cutting about 500 positions, and also scrapped previous plans to open a third greenhouse at Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. — Glacier FarmMedia Network

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